One of the mysteries of the English language finally explained.
1Work done with the fingers; any action or activity undertaken with the fingers, especially when requiring particular manual dexterity; sometimes as the type of work done without great (physical) exertion.
2Fine or ornate sewing, embroidery, tapestry, weaving, etc., requiring a high degree of dexterity and skill with the fingers. Compare "work". Now rare.
3Music. The technique of moving or placing the fingers in playing an instrument; the manner in which an instrumentalist moves or places his or her fingers while playing.
Early 17th century; earliest use found in John Cotta (?1575–?1628), physician. From finger + work.
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